How to Handle the Media and Lay Down the Foundation of The Right Impression

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Written by Mary Phelps

Lecture for the Emerging Dressage Athlete’s 2011 Robert Dover Horsemanship Clinic, Wellington Florida

Isabelle Leibler delivers the perfect example of what we are looking for in a good interview after her Gold Medal win with Watson 8 at the 2011 North American Young Riders' Championships. Watch the video
Isabelle Leibler delivers the perfect example of what we are looking for in a good interview after her Gold Medal win with Watson 8 at the 2011 North American Young Riders' Championships. Watch the video

When I was asked by Lendon Gray to be a speaker at the EDAP “Mega Clinic” held following the Christmas holiday, I gladly cut my holiday short to head to Wellington in time to make it for the tail end of what was an amazing week for not only the 17 invited young dressage riders, but also for all those involved: parents, sponsors, organizers and support staff who devoted their time, passion and efforts to make it happen. As a longtime media person with a penchant for dressage, I was able to share some insight, advise, stories, and thoughts based on the years of experiences and travels as both a photographer and journalist. Lendon asked me to use the topic “How to Handle the Paparazzi” and as I developed my presentation seized on the opportunity to share some observations I have made along the way.

Mary Phelps-Hathaway in the sea of photographers at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games (Photo: JJ Hathaway)
Mary Phelps-Hathaway in the sea of photographers at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games (Photo: JJ Hathaway)

I am a long time member of the IAEJ: International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists, and began my international career in 1982 at the Dressage World Equestrian Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Dr. Reiner Klimke won the Gold Medal. I realized as we celebrate 15 years on the World Wide Web, many of the EDAP participants were not even born yet. As promised, I said I would report on our website DressageDaily the points I presented to the group. So here you go!

Journalists Are Not The Enemy
Most of us involved in equestrian sport share your passion for horses and the world we cover. While you attend a show to ride one, maybe two horses the photographers and writers covering an event are there for most of the show. Then their work continues beyond the final award ceremonies writing, organizing images, fact checking, hunting down sources, and more. Many are also horsemen like you, who compete and ride, often sacrificing valuable time away from their animals, home and goals to do their jobs. The pay is not great, the time and expense is often self-funded, and they like you share a passion for horses. Sometime mistakes are made; you may be misquoted, or the message you had hoped to deliver in an interview may not have been translated into what you had imagined would be in print. Appreciate the effort that was made on your behalf, and take the time to send a small note of thanks. That journalist will remember you favorably and look forward to working with you again. If you feel you were misquoted, then be gracious, thank the writer for their effort and offer them the opportunity to respond, explain and hopefully correct the discrepancy, if it has been confirmed to be one.

Some riders have had bad experiences, and the internet has opened the door to some who may not be as responsible as others in their reporting style and delivery. You have every right to ask the reporter if you can record your interview on your I-phone or a small flip video or tape recorder. This way you can listen to your delivery and learn how to improve, and have a record of exactly what you said. Be careful when you notice the interviewer not recording, as it is easy to miss something while taking notes or to not accurately word your response.

Know the Information
You should know and be able to deliver information often asked for, and know all the correct spelling; the breeding of your horse, the breeder, owner, your trainer, sponsors. You should have and maintain a brief bio of yourself keeping your latest accomplishments update to facilitate information for the show announcer, and organizer who may need it for the program or website.

Know Who to Thank - And Remember To
It takes a village for you to have made it to any event, so know who to thank both in print and in person, before, during and after the show. Be sure to mention your trainer, organizers, sponsors, owners, and above all your parents who have made this all possible for you. Remember to compliment your fellow competitors and teammates, and of course remember to thank your horse. Learn about the sponsors and pay attention to who they are. I guarantee you they have put out a lot of energy and money to help make the show what it is. Think of patronizing them as a thank you for their effort, and it will reinforce their reasons to continue. Thank them for sponsoring when you see them at the booth, or when they hand you a ribbon. Don’t forget the volunteers who also make it possible for the show to go on.

Make It Interesting and Fun

Tim McQuay and Tom McCutcheon with USEF Dressage Chef D'Equipe Eva Salomon.
Tim McQuay and Tom McCutcheon with USEF Dressage Chef D'Equipe Eva Salomon.

I love going to a press conference featuring the US Reiners. They are like the NASCAR drivers of equestrian sport. Some of our High Performance Reining team are, shall we say, “big guys”, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the international press. At the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games press conference a Japanese journalist made mention of that fact, and asked the team about their size. Gold Medalist, and 2010 USEF Horseman of the Year, Tom McCutcheon leaned into the mike placed in front of him where he sat with his teammates at the table and said “Ma’am, when we come to a heavyweight event, we bring the heavyweights.”

Talk about your ride, your feelings, and don’t be afraid to mention your mistakes. Maybe someone reading the interview can learn something from your experiences. Don’t assume that all journalists or those reading the articles published are knowledgeable about your sport. Keep in mind you are an ambassador for your sport and your country.

Don’t be intimidated by the tough questions, be honest and don’t be defensive. Take a moment before you answer the question, don’t rush, take a sip of water as a tactic to give yourself the time needed to formulate your answer. Give a short but straightforward answer. You don’t have to say anything you do not want to. At Aachen, where Edward Gal was competing for the first time at the same event as his former mount Totilas a journalist asked him about his feelings. He stated simply that Totilas was now the mount for German rider Mathias Rath, and they should direct all questions about the horse to him. When the journalist pressed for a response from Gal, he responded short and sweet at to the effect; “Yes of course there are mixed emotions, but life goes on.”

Not all equestrian superstars give a great interview, and as journalists we can often direct the information we are looking for. If they forget to mention those they would like to thank, we can ask for names, or even though we know the answer can ask a question about the sport, show or their performance to help guide them to a better interview. We talk among ourselves too. “If I hear one more time ‘I love my horse’ as the only response to a winning medal” said one fellow journalist, after an interview, “why bother to even ask if that is all we can get!” Provide some detail about the ride, think of some good, original and descriptive “buzz words” to use for the writers to seize on. Writers often have to condense the interview into a much shorter version of all that was said, so keep that in mind when giving answers. Get to the point with some unique response, which shows your personality and feelings. We know that most of you have the dream of becoming an Olympian, or of being on the team of your country, but that should not be the ultimate goal for your career as a horseman. That too becomes a standard answer, and personally I feel not the right goal. Be the best that you can be, as a horseman, trainer, and professional if that is your direction, and the opportunities will come. Your education is important too, so be sure to talk about the balance in your life if it should be a part of the interview.

I also have many of the same questions from reporters presented, “How did it feel? Or how do you feel?” . When you are sitting there in an interview you might think, “Well how do you think it feels to win a medal, awesome!” Be prepared for this kind of a question and try to come up with an original funny or interesting quotable answer.

And please please, please, avoid using the redundant words “like” and "you know" .

Creating Lasting Impressions
Not all of you will have the privilege of being at the press table or being interviewed by a journalist for the news, but I would like this opportunity to share some more thoughts and ideas about the impressions you will make throughout your riding career. They say that first impressions are lasting ones, and in the horse world, which can be very small, this is very true. At the show, in the arena, with friends, stablemates, and at the barn you board and train remember to be kind, courteous, and helpful. Be neat and clean in your appearance, especially when you ride, even if you are just going for a hack after arriving on the grounds.

In the show ring, be immaculate. Watch out for too much bling. Be sure your jacket fits well, your hair is neat and plastered down, boots shiny, no dangly earrings or bouncing bun behind your head, and that your horse is presented in the best appearance ever. When you make the effort to present your self in the best light possible, you will ride better too.


Whether during the test or in her victory round Ashley Holzer always has a winning smile.
Whether during the test or in her victory round Ashley Holzer always has a winning smile.

Learn to smile, even if it is hard to do when you are concentrating on your ride. Many of our top riders who compete have expressions that we as photographers struggle to work with. Look at photos and watch Ashley Holzer. She presents the perfect picture of serenity and happiness on a horse. So if you find a natural smile a distraction, just try to do it down the centerline as you finish your test. Look the judge right in the eye, and give them a smile, which says “thank you for watching”. If you had a horrible test, don’t let them see you sweat or look upset, or shake your head. They have seen it all and many have had along the way an awful test in their lives too. It is insulting to a judge to display your feelings and emotions about your test. They know what they are looking for you don’t have to tell them. And for Pete’s sake, don’t cry, or storm out of the arena blaming your horse. Smile with your mouth open. When you smile with closed lips it displays a level of insecurity. Many of your parents have invested into those lovely straight white teeth of yours, so work it. All that said no need to overact, getting all gushy and falling over your horse at every halt and salute as if he just delivered the gold medal ride of a lifetime. The first time I saw a well known cutting horse trainer at work, each time his mare would navigate a calf from the herd, he would just stop as she stood perfectly still after her accomplishment. “I wonder why you do not reward her with a pat on the neck.” I asked. “The best reward is to just leave her alone.” was the straightforward reply.


Tina Konyot and Calecto V at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games
Tina Konyot and Calecto V at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games

Tina Konyot is a dear friend and so I know she will not mind me telling this story: I have photographed her throughout her career. She is a beautiful woman, and gorgeous rider. She has a lovely smile and dimples, yet when she rode, she looked like she was just angry. “Tina, I finally told her one day, you look like such a (I used the B word) up there. “Work that beautiful smile, not all of us are endowed with dimples like that.” Tina has taken my advise to heart over the years, and it was such a joy to photograph her and Calecto V at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, as she grinned with joy at the movements he delivered in the arena.

Just like journalists, judges are not the enemy either. Put yourself in their shoes from time to time. Sitting in a hard cold chair for hours on end, usually following a hard day of travel, with the prospects of another long return trip home. I talked about my smile theory one time to a judge, and she responded. “You know, if I was vacillating between a 5 and 6 on a score, and the rider made eye contact and gave me a nice smile, I might be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and the higher mark.

Be Positive, Always – Make it a Way of Life
It is everyone’s inclination to talk, gossip, complain. I have been guilty of it and work very hard these days not to do it. Find something good to say about everyone which in only a very few cases in my life can be very difficult. Don’t ever talk badly about anyone, never, ever, ever. I know this is a tall order, but practice it in your daily life and it will come easier all the time. It has a domino effect. People will try to suck you into their gripes and issues, which may be justified for sure, but I just find it tiring and uncomfortable to be a part of it. Riders and trainers who are well known become a bigger target, o be prepared the more successful you become to know it could happen to you. How would you like to be the topic of a joke in a Jay Leno monologue? That is what famous people and presidents have to deal with all the time. Years ago I did an interview with Isabel Werth, when the European press was making much of the rivalry between her and Anky Van Grunsven. I asked her if it bothered her, or if this was the price that you pay by being on top.  I will always remember her response. “I am a farmer’s daughter who had the great fortune of being discovered and trained by Dr. Uwe Schulten Baumer. In the beginning when I had success at the shows everyone was happy for me, and congratulated me for my successes.” She recalled. “It is different when you are at the top in some ways.” That year we did the interview her Gold Medal mount Gigolo had been injured and was not able to compete at Aachen. “I rarely have the time to sit in the stands, but at Aachen this year I had no choice.” Isabel remembered. “I got to hear the comments about another up and coming German rider, and knew I was not alone.”

So you had a bad show, a bad ride, a tiff with your trainer, your parents, or the show secretary. Don’t brood, sulk and worst of all, don’t take it out on your horse. There is always a way to turn a negative into a positive. “Today was just not our day, but I learned something from my mistakes, and it will be better next time.” It never hurts to apologize when you know you said or did the wrong thing. When I used to work all day as a show photographer and ran our then video company, there was never a perfect day. We could miss a ride, or not get the shot someone was looking for: sometimes with the website someone may e-mail and be upset I did not mention their horse or ride. The day could have gone so well in so many ways, but when that happens it just puts a cloud on my tired self who tried my best to please as many people as I could.

Make Facebook and Social Media Your Ally Not Your Downfall
As a journalist I use Facebook all the time to access riders for quotes, images, feedback. Employers, potential clients, owners, sponsors all monitor Facebook. This is your chance to project the right image about yourself as a young person who is aspiring to excel in what you do. What you say and do on Facebook could follow you for a long time, even with your so-called private friends. I could do a whole other article on this, and might sometime, but here are a few thoughts:

Your Facebook page is often how you project first impressions in the new age. Don’t wine, insinuate someone has hurt your feelings or be too silly or goofy. Don’t put suggestive photos on line or talk about how you got drunk at the party in your dorm last night. I know of a horse owner, very active on the Internet who was looking for a young rider to sponsor and give an incredible horse to ride. The owner ruled out a few potential candidates being seriously considered simply by reading their Facebook page.

Make it interesting. Share your show photos, keep a little blog on your travels, successes, and perspective on your challenges. When I began my website there was no Facebook or Google or Twitter. We told some stories about our travels. Astrid Appels of eurodressage.com has been a part of our lives since we first met on line in 1997 when she was 15 years old. She would keep her “journal” on line when she travelled with us to shows in America when she came over to visit. We learned then how people loved reading these reports almost more than the coverage of the show. You are allowed to have opinions, but don’t be mean, negative or critical. Keep it happy, positive and respectful and you may be surprised to see what could come your way from your Facebook page: Maybe a job, an opportunity, a horse.

When you are immersed in a serious competition which requires your concentration and focus, stay off the phone and computer. I recall being at a Young Rider clinic with Ulla Salzgeber, who admitted she stays away from articles about herself. So even the best of the best have feelings and can be affected by what is commented and said about them. With Facebook and the internet, multiply that factor by a million. You don't need it , you need to ride and keep your head in a good place. I am connected to just about every US team rider and know that when the competiton is underway, unless I meet them at a press conference, I do not expect to hear from them or see updates on their page.

In closing I can’t tell you and all of our readers how exciting, inspiring and effective this program, The Emerging Dressage Athlete Program and the inaugural Robert Dover Horsemastership course was. Although I was just there for part of one day, the energy and excitement from not only the young riders in attendance, but also those who developed the program, Lendon Gray and Robert Dover was exhilarating and an inspiration. As we head into a new year, with hope and promise for good things to come, I can’t help but get a sense of growth we have in our sport.

You can always contact me at mary@horsesdaily.com

See video

World Equestrian Games 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 13:23
FEI Communications
Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA).
 
The Tuscany-born Para-Equestrian Dressage rider scored an outstanding Freestyle Grade 1a gold medal...
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:36
Grand prix show jumper Danielle Goldstein has represented Israel in major international competitions in 2014, from Spruce Meadows and Thunderbird Horsepark in Canada to the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.  Upon returning to the United States, the dual US and Israeli citizen has been invited to compete in the Central Park Horse Show,...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 12:20
Alltech Media
[CAEN, France] – After a successful 15 days of competition and celebration, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy have come to a close this evening with a farewell ceremony in the Michel d’Ornano Stadium in Caen. A cast of close to 2,000 of the world’s best equine and human athletes, more than 570,000 on-site spectators and 3,...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 11:18
Diana DeRosa
Where to begin. I’m on the journey home with memories of Beezie Madden claiming the Individual Bronze Medal and Cortes C claiming the Best Horse title in the Final Four phase of Show Jumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. Chester Weber did us proud as well claiming an Individual Silver in Driving and his team was...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 21:54
FEI Press Release
FEI President HRH Princess Haya officially closed the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy at the D’Ornano Stadium this evening, bringing to an end two weeks of incredible sport.  The final medals of the Games were presented by IOC Member, Tsunekazu Takeda, Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Member of the...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 21:47
Louise Parkes
 made it double-gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy today when adding the individual title to last Thursday’s team victory for The Netherlands. He made his way into this afternoon’s top-four Jumping final thanks to a horse that he admitted was inexperienced at this level of the sport and which clearly surprised him...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 21:30
In sport, time is often the difference between victory and defeat, and in a display of supreme individual horsemanship, the Netherlands Jeroen Dubbeldam today sealed a growing reputation within the sport of Show Jumping by claiming the Individual World Champion title at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy by less than half a...

Eventing

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 12:13
Sally Spickard for Eventing Nation
Mary King is teaching a clinic hosted by Kelly Gage of Team EnGaged Clinics at Morven Park this week, imparting wisdom coming from many years as an international competitor. Mary did some work with younger horses and riders competing at varying levels yesterday, working on quality of gait and adjustablity with each student. Friend of EN Valerie...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 13:51
Anna Sharpley, FEI Communications
Twenty-two-year-old Jessica Manson withstood the pressure applied by Olympian and former Adelaide champion Megan Jones, posting a super clear round aboard her 13-year-old Australian Stock Horse, Legal Star, to win the second leg of the FEI Classics™ at the Australian International 3 Day Event.
 
Manson set up her victory yesterday by...
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 10:42
USET Foundation
Gladstone, NJ - November 13, 2014 - The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded the 2015 Amanda Warrington Grant to Eventing rider Kurt Martin of Middleburg, VA. The Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant is awarded through the USET Foundation Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund. Earlier this year, Martin and his...
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 09:57
Anna Sharpley, FEI Communications
The Australian Stock horse is known as “the breed for every need” and Jessica Manson’s grey gelding, Legal Star, came to the fore when needed today on cross country at the FEI Classics™ in Adelaide.
 
The 13-year-old Stock Horse Thoroughbred by Ringwould Legality kept his feet in deep footing coming out of the Rymill Lake, producing the...
Friday, November 14, 2014 - 09:16
Anna Sharpley, FEI Communications
Adelaide's Olympian Megan Jones produced the winning test for the dressage phase of the FEI Classics™ series at the Australian International 3 Day Event in Adelaide with Kirby Park Allofasudden, slowly worked back into peak fitness after injury kept him from the London 2012 Olympic team. However, she was “disappointed” with the 51.5 handed out to...
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 12:10
Anna Sharpley, FEI Communications
The charming South Australian city of Adelaide has put on its best "bib and tucker", with Jacaranda trees covering the city in a beautiful pre-Christmas mauve haze, ready for the FEI Classics™ at the most prestigious equestrian event in the Southern Hemisphere, the Australian International 3 Day Event.
 
This second leg of the FEI...
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 10:14
USEF Communications Department
Lexington, KY - The USEF Eventing High Performance Committee has approved the following High Performance Training Lists for the 2015 season. In determining these lists for 2015, the USEF Eventing Selection Committee is directly focused on the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team producing successful results at the 2015 Pan American Games and the 2016...

Reining and Western Riding

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 09:32
Larri Jo Starkey for The American Quarter Horse Journal
Oklahoma City, Ok - Para-reining returned November 15 to the 2014 AQHA World Championship Show as a demonstration sport. Six high-level para-dressage riders changed saddles and took a spin on American Quarter Horses in the Jim Norick Coliseum at Oklahoma State Fair Park. Along with a standing ovation from the crowd of reining enthusiasts in...
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 06:55
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Wellington, FL - November 17, 2014 - The Florida Gold Coast and the Florida Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Circuit are now accepting applications for vendor space at the 2014-2015 horse shows. The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit, will feature five full American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Shows at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in...
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 10:51
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Dubuque, IA - When Becky Shady's grandfather, Harry Shady, pulled up at Blain's Farm and Fleet in Dubuque, Iowa, he had on his stock trailer three horses that had never been touched. The Shadys had traveled to see Ray Ainsworth and to get a hand from the renowned horseman in starting their nervous and completely unhandled young horses. As the...
Friday, October 31, 2014 - 12:35
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Jupiter, FL - October 30, 2014 - Steed Training's goal for their Cow Horse Extravaganza series was to put on family friendly events that brought the community out to experience the excitement of reined cow horse competition, and their success was evident at the final event of the season. Spectators, sponsors and supporters gathered on Saturday,...
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 15:18
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Jupiter, FL - Don't miss the final event of the season in Steed Training and Horse Show By Appointment's popular series! Get your boots on and come out Saturday afternoon, Oct. 25, for the family friendly Western exhibition. Learn about the exciting discipline of ranch horse riding and ranch horse competitions, which demand versatility and quick...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 10:15
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Tampa, Fl. - Quarter Horse riders, owners and trainers mark your calendars and clear your schedules now for December 27 - 31, 2014. The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Shows is returning to the Florida State Fairgrounds' Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, and the five full days of American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows are not to be missed....
Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 10:10
The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Center will be at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and will be providing therapies. MagnaWave and Laser Therapy will be available with special Congress pricing. They can treat your horses and your dogs. To make an appointment call or text Melissa at (352)804-6864

Driving

Sunday, November 23, 2014 - 09:51
Cindy Timmer, FEI Communications
Reigning FEI World Cup™ Driving champion Boyd Exell (AUS) won the series first qualifier of the season in the packed Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart (GER) after performing two thrilling rounds. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) was the runner up while third place was claimed by home driver Christoph Sandmann.
 
Too Confident
Exell drove his very...
Monday, November 3, 2014 - 07:20
Yellow Horse Marketing
The popular and innovative USEF Developing Driver Program (DDP) held its final clinic of the year on picturesque Hillcroft Farm in Paris, Ky., October 24 - 26, 2014.  Whether drivers were wrapping up their show year or getting ready for the 2015 Florida season, this intensive clinic offered up-and-coming High Performance drivers a special...
Friday, October 31, 2014 - 15:13
Sarah Evers Conrad
In October, the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, sees a lot of action. Thousands of people and horses come for the United States Mounted Games Association’s Bluegrass Finale, the Octoberfest Horse Trials, the Battle in the Saddle Celebrity Team Penning Event, the Certified Horsemanship Association’s International Conference, the Kentucky...
Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 09:14
Revolution Sports
30 October 2014 - This year’s Olympia, The London International Horse Show takes place from 16-22 December and  boasts a star-studded equine line up, including a Medal Parade from the GBR Equestrian Teams, an appearance from record breaking racehorse, Kauto Star and Dressage Masterclasses from British riders, Michael Eilberg and Laura Tomlinson...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 12:25
Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
Lodi, California- Four Para-Equestrian Drivers competed at the Shady Oaks CDE September 18-21, 2014, in Lodi, California. Those athletes included Tracy Bowman competing in Preliminary Single Pony; Ginny Leal competing in Training Level Single Pony; Diane Kastama competing in Preliminary Pair; and Stefanie Putnam who competed in Preliminary Single...
Monday, October 6, 2014 - 10:09
Kathleen Landwehr, USEF
Lexington, Ky. - The last USEF National Combined Driving Champions of 2014 were crowned during the final day at the Kentucky Classic CDE as drivers guided their horses and ponies through Richard Nicoll's 20-obstacle cones course at the Kentucky Horse Park.   USEF National Pairs Championship  Misdee Wrigley Miller (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) earned her...
Sunday, October 5, 2014 - 10:23
Kathleen Landwehr, USEF
Lexington, Ky. - The exciting marathon phase took place Saturday at the Kentucky Classic CDE, the host of the final USEF National Combined Driving Championship competitions of 2014. Drivers demonstrated their skill through seven-obstacles on the marathon track at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. USEF National Pairs Championship        By...

Show Jumping

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 12:17
Chicago Equestrian
Barrington, IL – Old Barrington Farm welcomes nationally renowned trainer Frank Madden to their farm for a hunter/jumper clinic Saturday, December 6th and Sunday, December 7th, 2014. Madden will teach three sessions each day consisting of 3’ hunters, 3’ jumpers and 3’6” jumpers and equitation. There are a few rider spots open and auditors are...
Monday, November 24, 2014 - 12:04
Jessica Rodrigues, R&B Presse
At some events, speed classes take a back seat, with the Grand Prix stealing the limelight, yet spectators love against-the-clock events. It is always gripping to watch brave, talented riders and horses scrape off precious seconds with quick turns and angled jumps. At the Masters Grand Slam Indoor, the Longines Speed Challenge against the clock...
Monday, November 24, 2014 - 11:48
Louise Parkes, FEI Communications
William Whitaker stepped right into the limelight with a brilliant win with Fandango at the fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series in Stuttgart, Germany today. The 25-year-old nephew of British legends, John and Michael Whitaker, out-classed many of the best in the world in a thrilling 10-horse...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 14:10
Brian Hennessy
17/11/2014 - The three day Emerald International Irish Masters came to a close on Sunday evening, with a thrilling finale to the €15,000 Irish Masters 1.50m Grand Prix, where Co Meath’s Edward Butler grabbed the winners prize with the Angela Taggart owned mare Caugherty. Butler and the 12 year old by Limmerick who is out of a Flagmount Diamond...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 14:04
Blenheim EquiSports
November 15, 2014 - Las Vegas, NV - In true Las Vegas style, the final highlight event of the Las Vegas National opened with glitz and glamour. As eager spectators began to fill the stands, forty-four of show jumping's best and brightest prepared to compete in the $75,000 Las Vegas CSI-W Grand Prix.  After ten went clean, it was Harrie Smolders (...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 13:46
Blenheim EquiSports
November 15, 2014 - Las Vegas, NV - Saturday's highlight events kicked off in winning form with a tremendously exciting $10,000 1.40m Winning Round Classic, presented by Cardflex Financial. The ten riders with the least faults and fastest times from the first round are brought back for round two, and given a clean slate to compete for the top...
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 13:39
Brian Hennessy
An incredible performance from sixteen year-old Christopher Megahey from Templepatrick Co Antrim, saw him win Saturday nights Emerald International Puissance, clearing the big red wall at a height of 2 metres 5 centimetres (6 ft 7 inches) with the Britt Megahey owned Cruise On gelding Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier. Having started at a height of 1....

Para Dressage

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 06:18
  We salute our veterans this Veterans Day. Thank you for protecting our freedoms. On this day we ask you to take a moment to think about those that have served our country. We would like to salute our disabled veterans who are part of not only the equestrian sport but all Paralympic sports. Thank you, - USPEA. We too, at DressageDaily, would like to take a moment to thank all veterans who have served our country to protect our liberties and rights. We truly appreciate all past and current members of our military for all that you do! History of Veterans Day - From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: World War I - known at the time as "The Great War" - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versaille...
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 05:59
  Gladstone, NJ - As the end of year draws near, The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge for High Performance Para Dressage has raised $615,000 towards its $800,000 goal, however in order to have the funding needed to implement the Para Dressage High Performance program, it needs more support from those in the equestrian community that want to see our Para Dressage riders have the opportunity to achieve competitive excellence in international competition.  The Jonathan Wentz Memorial Challenge is an exciting fundraising initiative that was launched in April thanks to the incredible generosity of Margaret H. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation. Duprey and The Barnfield Foundation have each pledged up to $200,000, matching dollar for dollar, gift commitments of $4,000 and above, payable over...
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 07:38
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
U.S. WEG Team Athlete Sydney Collier and her dog Journey. Journey became a media sensation at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com Lexington, KY - November 4, 2014 - The United States Para-Equestrian Association  (USPEA) would like to thank the United States Equestrian Federation ( USEF) for their support of the Para-Dressage Young Rider Program. As a USEF International Discipline Association the USPEA fosters the Para-Equestrian sport from the grassroots to the high performance level. The USPEA was recently awarded a USEF Affiliate Grant. Through this awarded USEF Affiliate Grant, the USPEA is able to further support the discipline at the young rider level. Offering high-level opportunities to young rider para-dressage athletes benefits not only...
Friday, October 31, 2014 - 04:27
Written By: Lindsay Y. McCall
Mary Jordan and Rubicon 75 at the USDF Region 8 Championships presented by New England Dressage Association September 18-21, 2014 (Photo: ©Amy E. Riley/STUDIO EQUUS) Lexington, KY - 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) athlete Mary Jordan of Wells, Maine is headed to the 2014 U.S. Dressage Finals presented by Adequan® scheduled for November 6-9, in Lexington, KY. Jordan qualified with Rubicon 75 (Royal-Hit x Edelkarin/Absinthe) at the GAIG/United States Dressage Federation Region 8 Championships presented by New England Dressage Association (NEDA) September 18-21, 2014. Unprecedented, this horse and rider combination is the only Para-Equestrian Dressage duo to win an able-bodied Regional Championship to go to the Finals. Jordan earned her invitation when the pair won the 3rd Le...
Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 13:23
Written By: FEI Communications
Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA). The Tuscany-born Para-Equestrian Dressage rider scored an outstanding Freestyle Grade 1a gold medal with her mare Royal Delight ahead of British Paralympic and reigning world champion Sophie Christiansen and Singapore's most-decorated Paralympic athlete Laurentia Tan. Morganti, who also won Individual Grade 1a silver at the Games in Normandy, beat five champions to the top spot in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) poll from the worlds of canoeing, athletics, swimming and sailing following a bumper month of global para-sport.   Since her internationa...
Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 09:16
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and support staff in Aachen having a team meeting during training camp. Photo courtesy of Sydney Collier Aachen, Germany  -  The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and Chef d' Equipe Kai Handt arrived in Aachen and began their training camp this week. The U.S. Team and Individual athletes include: Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley; two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and 2010 WEG athlete Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter's Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel; Angela Peavy (Avon, Con...
Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 09:16
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and support staff in Aachen having a team meeting during training camp. Photo courtesy of Sydney Collier Aachen, Germany  -  The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and Chef d' Equipe Kai Handt arrived in Aachen and began their training camp this week. The U.S. Team and Individual athletes include: Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley; two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and 2010 WEG athlete Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter's Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel; Angela Peavy (Avon, Con...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 15:56
Written By: USEF Communications
Sydney Collier and Willi Wesley at the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named five horse-and-athlete combinations to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team. Four combinations will serve as the Team, while one combination will compete as an Individual. The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order): Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley, a 2000 Warmblood gelding. Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and her own Schroeter's Romani, a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Re...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 15:56
Written By: USEF Communications
Sydney Collier and Willi Wesley at the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named five horse-and-athlete combinations to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team. Four combinations will serve as the Team, while one combination will compete as an Individual. The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order): Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley, a 2000 Warmblood gelding. Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and her own Schroeter's Romani, a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Re...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 11:44
Written By: Diana DeRosa
Susan Treabess. Photo by Diana DeRosa The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy are just around the corner and everyone headed to the Games is anxious for everything to start. Opening Ceremony takes place on August 23rd with the actual competition beginning on the 25th. While media and spectators are packing their bags, riders and horses competing in the first week and prepping for their journey to France. On Sunday, August 10th, the Endurance and Para-Dressage riders were sharing quarters at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. With camera in hand, it was the perfect opportunity to capture pictures and listen to the excited voices of the riders as they talked about the impending journey. The Para riders will be competing at the La Prairie Racecourse August 25...
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